Building in Baltimore Where a Historic Civil Rights Protest by Black College Students Was Staged Is Now Scheduled to Be Razed

In the winter of 1960 students from North Carolina A&T State University staged a sit-in protest at the lunch counter at the F.W. Woolworth store in downtown Greensboro that refused to serve black patrons. The protest ignited the lunch counter sit-in movement that spread throughout the South. The building where the protest took place is now a civil rights museum.

Five years before the Greensboro protest, students at what is now Morgan State University in Baltimore staged a sit-in at the lunch counter at Read’s drugstore in Baltimore. The protest led to Read’s desegregating its lunch counters.

Now the location where the historic protest took place is a vacant property owned by the city of Baltimore. It is scheduled for demolition to make way for a housing and retail project. But some activists want to preserve this piece of civil rights history and are petitioning the city not to raze the old Read’s store.